Wandering By Divine Design

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.  . . . By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light . . .  
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth between Migdol and the sea.  . . . Pharaoh will think, 'The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.'  And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." So the Israelites did this.
Exodus 13:17-14:4

God knows the plans He has for us. They are plans to prosper us and not to harm us. They are plans to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). The wisdom of God is infinite; our wisdom is finite. God is omniscient; our knowledge is limited. He knows what is best for us and will give us nothing short of His very best. He knows how to prepare us to adequately handle the blessings He has in store for us. He knows what we can and cannot handle. But the question is: Do we really act as if that is truly the case?

It is fascinating to reflect on why God did not lead the Israelites on the shorter route from Goshen in Egypt into the Promised land of Canaan. The most logical thing was to take the shorter route through Philistine country. But God chose a longer wandering route.

God gave two reasons. First, it was too soon to expose the Israelites to warfare. The shorter and logical route was lined by a string of Egyptian fortresses and there would have been massive attacks against the Israelites. This would have been discouraging and caused a resubmission to Egypt. God wanted to spare them from that experience.
Second, God wanted to give Pharaoh the impression that the Israelites were just wandering aimlessly around in the desert. Pharaoh would come after them and God would gain glory over him in the process.

Divine delays and wanderings are rather frustrating. Many times, those long delays and desert wanderings evoke lots of questions from us. But the truth is, God knows what we can adequately handle. Sometimes quick success can expose us to battles that we might not be able to handle. So, in His infinite wisdom, God might take us around the desert in a long and wandering route to adequately prepare us to handle our blessings and also outwit the enemy.

There is a reason for the desert wandering. Be patient. It is a divine design! It is part of the plan!

Prayer: Lord, I thank you that you have a reason behind my wanderings. Please help me to patiently wait on you. Amen.